I remember the first time I listened to 80s music. That feeling of excitement and pleasure, while listening to those warm vintage tones, gives me goosebumps even nowadays. Back then I had no idea, how that sound was created, but I knew I had to learn to play it. I started doing some research and finally came across chorus pedals. I cannot fully express how happy I was, because I could master those tones with some skills and a pedal at hand. A lot of time has passed since those rudimentary steps into the music world and throughout those years, I was lucky to find the best chorus pedal for my music. I will leave it a secret at this point, so that you can choose yours without being influenced by my preferences. If you want to find your soulmate of the pedals, keep on reading, because this article has all the information you need.
Table of Contents
- Top 10 Best Chorus Pedals
- MXR M234 Analog Chorus Pedal
- Boss CE-5 Stereo Chorus Ensemble
- Electro-Harmonix Small Clone Chorus Pedal
- TC Electronic Corona Mini Chorus Pedal
- Truetone V3H2O Liquid Chorus & Echo
- MXR M134 Stereo Chorus
- BEHRINGER ULTRA CHORUS UC200
- Ibanez Mini Chorus Guitar Pedal
- Mooer Ensemble King, Analog Chorus Micro
- Donner Tutti Love Chorus Pedal
- What is a chorus pedal?
- How to choose a chorus pedal?
Top 10 Best Chorus Pedals
|MXR M234 Analog Chorus Pedal||(5 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Boss CE-5 Stereo Chorus Ensemble||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Electro-Harmonix Small Clone Chorus Pedal||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|TC Electronic Corona Mini Chorus Pedal||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Truetone V3H2O Liquid Chorus & Echo||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|MXR M134 Stereo Chorus||(4.9 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|BEHRINGER ULTRA CHORUS UC200||(4.8 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Ibanez Mini Chorus Guitar Pedal||(4.7 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Mooer Ensemble King, Analog Chorus Micro||(4.6 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
|Donner Tutti Love Chorus Pedal||(4.6 / 5)||Check on Amazon|
What is a chorus pedal?
If you have ever listened to a mandolin or a 12 string electric guitar, you have already heard the sound of chorus. Basically, it is a combination of two identical signals with a slight alteration in pitch. Chorus enables you to create a thicker sound that has more texture and definition to it. In order to produce this effect, initial tone is copied, the pitch is altered subtly and the two tones are merged back together. Chorus pedals do the same thing in the form of stompboxes, they combine different signals to create a distinctive sound. Even though chorus pedals are not everybody’s cup of tea, they offer unique vintage sound at the click of the footswitch. If you fall in love with this one, it will be hard to go back.
How to choose a chorus pedal?
Chorus pedals do tend to be nostalgic. They will force you to float back in time and take a new look at 80s music. This vintage-style effect offers a lot of flexibility. It can be utilized on the pristine channel of the amp, but it will work wonders along with distortion as well. This way, you can add extra swirl and movement to your sound. You can apply as much chorus as you want by altering between different techniques, for instance, you can easily start with a barely audible sweep and end up with a freakish effect resembling Leslie sound. Chorus pedals can act as splitters as well, allowing you to send audio signal to two amps simultaneously. The ways of utilization of these bad boys can be numerous, but before getting to that part, first, you have to choose a proper one. Here are some things you should keep in mind when looking for a chorus pedal.
Fit your pedal to your sound!
Oftentimes, we become so steeped in choices and technical issues that we forget what truly matters. No matter how fancy, well-equipped or versatile is the pedal, if it does not compliment your music, all your efforts will go up in smoke. Plugging in your favorite chorus pedal must be the most exciting thing for you, otherwise the music you create will be deprived of passion and drive. What I am saying is that before going into details about features and capabilities, you should consider what you want to achieve with your music and what role does a chorus have in achieving that goal.
After you have done that, trust me, you have saved yourself a lot of money and effort. For me, the next step is to choose between different styles of pedals according to your music. I will go through several of them in order to give you more information and help you understand what you are looking for.
Analog or Digital
The famous battle between the two continues in the world of chorus pedals as well. There are guitarists who prefer analog to digital and vice versa. We come to ask: which one has a better sound? There is no right or wrong answer here. Digital chorus is quite different from Analog chorus, which makes comparing them a nonsense. The former gives you more precise and clean tones, while the latter delivers sweet, warm and natural sound.
The market does not agree with this concept, though. There is an abundance of analog chorus pedals, due to the preference of its circuit. Digital chorus pedals are harder to find, especially if you are looking for unique features. But there is still a chance to purchase them, you will just have to be more determined.
I do believe with my heart that there are no rules when it comes to music. No one said you have to choose between these two. I am pretty sure you can figure out a way to use both or at least practice will teach you which one is better. One way or another, we are talking about your music here and you can do anything you want with it.
This is my least favorite part of the discussion. If I were given an opportunity to create a perfect world, you would be able to have any device you wanted without having to care about the price. But unfortunately, this is the subject that we cannot avoid. The plethora of choices gives you the opportunity to find your soulmate in every single price range. Just shape your requirements according to your budget and do not expect too much from a 20$ pedal. Mostly, all of them do what you pay for (regardless of the price). And after all, the main thing is to get the tone right. Do some research, mix, match, compare the pedals within the same price range and you will definitely find the best one, which suits your needs and does not break the bank.
Mono, Stereo, Boutique and Factory
Now, once again, what you choose from these four is completely up to you. But there are some technical issues that you should keep in mind. First things first, choosing between Mono and Stereo is quite an easy job if you ask me. It all depends on how you play your music. If you keep it simple and do not overcomplicate your chain with effects loop, a mono chorus pedal will be just right for you. But if you are more of an adventurer and you like to explore all the sonic possibilities available, then you should probably go with Stereo. It lets you split your signal between two amps and is just more versatile in general.
Choosing between boutique and factory pedals is purely a technical matter. The downside to purchasing boutique pedals is that if you are on the road and it breaks, there is a high chance you will not be able to find the same model in the city. You will be left with no options for substitution, going back to factory favorites in the end. If you adore the sound of your boutique chorus pedal, purchase a backup just in case. When it comes to factory pedals, they can be easily replaced in almost every city with little to no effort. Consider these factors and choose your pedal accordingly.
In conclusion, it can be easily said that chorus pedals are on the subjective side. You either like them and adapt them to your music or consider them as mere blast from the past. I have seen so many people overlook them in terms of sonic capabilities but I have seen same people listening to my music with their jaws dropped. One way or another, chorus pedals played their role in shaping the music history and they did so by delivering unique sounds. The fact that they still linger on the pedal boards speaks for itself. Go out there, purchase a chorus pedal and decide for yourself.